cédric roulliat: le son d’un autre tambour

“The title Le son d’un autre tambour is the translation of a quote from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer”. The project was born as cross over of several obsessions: America’s modern mythology, universal loneliness and the threatening beauty of nature. The idea was to take quintessential super heroes and take them out of their natural element, i.e. trade skycrapers for trees, rocks and rivers. I fantasised about the journey that these objects of fascination and desire took in order to end up stranded, helpless and occasionally, dead – ultimately defeated by darker forces than the super-villain next door – finding solace in the process. Another quote remained with me throughout the creation of the project, it is by Alan Moore: “Our fantasies are real things. They exist, albeit in an immaterial realm beyond the reach of science or empirical investigation. They influence our behaviour and thus influence the material world, for better or worse.”"

Always compelled by popular forms of story-telling – comics, motion pictures, adverts, his grandmother’s beloved photo romance stories – Cédric Roulliat taught himself photography as a medium to convey his staged tales of lonely, distressed women and karmically-challenged gigolos. These artificially-conceived scenes of desire and death pulsions are equally indebted to Hollywood’s golden age, the Grimm Brothers and Guy Bourdin. The fact that a handful of gorgeous girls and boys are still willing to model for him never ceases to amaze the photographer.

© Cédric Roulliat


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